Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a man in police custody. He died last night just moments after officers used a taser on him.
Police say officers tasered a 40-year-old man when he resisted arrest after the car he was driving crashed into a barrier on Route 29 in Burtonsville. It happened on Monday around 10:20 p.m.
As emergency crews rescued the man from the wreckage, he became combative with them for an unknown reason, police say. He assaulted the personnel who were attempting to provide aid. Police were then called in to help, but the man continued to resist. That's when officers used a Taser to subdue him, police say.
“Police officers on the scene extricated the subject from the vehicle. He continued to fight and they tazed him,” said Captain Paul Starks of the Montgomery County police.
The man was taken to Suburban Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. His identity has not been released.
Police say a vial of what appears to be liquid PCP was recovered the man’s vehicle, and a female passenger told officers the driver had taken PCP before the crash. She was not injured.
They say the man's companion acknowledged taking PCP with him prior to the crash.
One neighbor of the victim said the drug can cause hallucinations. “Body cant can’t take it, some hallucinate off it and go crazy,” Carlos Hillearly of Silver Spring said.
The victim's neighbors question tazing a crash victim. “They should have wrestled him down or something. Tasing, I mean, I don’t think it makes sense,” said Mike Gerry.
The four officers involved in this incident are on routine leave.
The cause of the crash and the man’s death remain under investigation. An autopsy will be conducted by the Medical Examiner’s office.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call police at 240-773-5070.